Why it’s time for international development to put people first

The following is an excerpt from an article published as part of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda on January 29, 2021. Read the full article here.

It is high time for international development actors to shift their approach from defining problems and identifying interventions towards developing the agency and leadership of people in developing contexts. Such a change enables affected communities to define their own problems, identify solutions and continuously improve over time.

This change feels more necessary than ever in the midst of calls to fight systemic oppression by elevating the leadership of those in marginalized communities and at a time when economic, education and health resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on local leadership.

Image: REUTERS/Nacho Doce



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Wendy Kopp

Wendy Kopp is CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All — the global network of over 50 independent organizations cultivating their nations’ promising future leaders